Totally Biased Fan Review: Clancy Pye EEP – Clancy Pye 'Clancy Pye - EP' by Clancy Pye (Australian Albums iTunes  Chart)

I told the story on 2RRR of how and when I first heard and saw Clancy a fair few years back now with a bunch of “rising stars” – to say that all of them, including her brother Mickey and the host, Adam Toms have done pretty well with their music over the years is the understatement of the century.

I was thrilled when Clancy went close to winning Toyota Starmaker this year. This probably gave her the kick to start turning things up a notch or two. I was starting to think that this wonderful young woman who showed so much promise at that gig was going to shelve all that fabulous talent.

Sometimes, it is a good thing to be patient. Time finds it place for the best. The two singles, Get Lost and Heaven Can’t Wait have received critical and fan acclaim. Get Lost is a great song to kick start the EEP with (more than 4 tracks, less than 10). Heaven Can’t Wait is a beautiful song based on personal experience. I have reviewed both of these songs in The Single Life.

This EEP is a great mix of boppy, fun tracks like Tree Change and slower more thoughtful tracks.

Clancy has a lot of the same musical qualities as Natalie Henry and Melody Moko. She has that real country sound, she gets the storytelling aspect and it is easy to relate to music. At the same time, like the women that I have mentioned, she has the ability to change things up. Not one of these tracks sounds the same. The last track, Wheels in Motion, is a rockier, guitar driven, road song and I am pretty sure that brother has a hand in this one….I don’t have the credits, so I am relying on my ears and my instinct.

Cigarettes, Alcohol and Love Songs is the perfect country song, by subject, mood, sound and story. Clancy’s delivery is honest and warm.

All of the qualities that I saw on that day a while back now, are still there. I think that life teaches you things as you get older that improve your stories and your understanding and even though Clancy is still on the greener side of 30, her songs have a new maturity.

I am glad that she didn’t hang up the guitar, or shelve that amazing voice and pen.

This is a quality EEP. Hopefully, one day, we will get an LP from the girl from NSW’s Central West.


1.    Get Lost

2.    Tree Change

3.    Heaven Can’t Wait

4.    Cigarettes, Alcohol & Love Songs

5.    Wheels In Motion

Totally Biased Fan Review: By Request – Sharon Heaslip

Sharon Heaslip - CD's

Sharon Heaslip is mainly known for her Bush Ballads. This is a slight turn in the road. This album is a collection of the songs that fans request most of her. They are a mixture of country classics penned by some of the most famous country music songwriters and a few traditional classics.

Aptly, it begins with a bright and breezy traditional song. The next one is one that I find the most interesting, because, in all of my years of listening to country music, I have never heard a woman sing it. I guess, because the lyrics have a male slant, and technically it is about a guy on death row who dreams of going home and meeting up with his one true love. Having said that, the song has had quite a controversial history, given the story line but also, because most famously, Charley Pride wanted to record it and he was told that he was not allowed to at the time because of of “my sweet Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries” – sad, but true. There are other stories attached to the famous song that sounds like a sweet song on the surface until you listen to the lyrics and know its history. Sharon makes it sound sweet.

The next song is one of my favourites of all time, from a guy who is quite special in my family. He’s one country singer that we never argued about. Don Williams’ Til the Rivers all Run Dry is one of two of my favourites on this album, with You’re My Best Friend on here too. You really can’t go wrong with either song. They are special songs. It is like taking a photo of Robert Redford, the subject is pretty much perfect.

Of course, there has to be a Hank song, and Sharon just happens to sing my favourite here, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. As some young friends of mine would say, it is a no brainer. I have about 12 versions of this song and they are all brilliant.

Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray has been covered by some of the best. k.d. lang does an amazing version, but Patsy Cline probably does the best one. One of the most brilliantly written songs ever, it is also one of the hardest to sing, which is why I don’t even sing along to it at concerts. I would be arrested for disturbing the peace. It is one of those songs that you wouldn’t hear a pin drop in the house when you heard it. A lovely version.

Lovesick Blues is a song generally matched with Hank Williams, and I was surprised to see that he didn’t write it or perform it first. This is a fun version.

I can see why these songs are the most requested, they are some of my faves as well, probably because country music has been built into my D and A. I love you because is probably one of the biggest examples. I think I heard this song first when I was about 7, when my Dad bought one of those compilation albums. Again, it is a song that I identify mainly with guys but this is a really cool version.

I must admit, I had to Google the next song. I had never heard of it. I thought that I knew every Merle Haggard song, though it was written by him, it seems to be the version that pops up most. When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again is a good song, I have just never heard of it. I will have to listen to Merle’s version. I actually think that it would suit a female better. Sharon does a great job.

Probably one of the most loved and most famous songs is next – sung by females, males, bands, duets, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. I do sing this one behind closed doors, how can you not sing it? It is definitely one of what should be a limited amount of songs that should be called “Classic”. I guess you always hear George and Tammy in your head, but this is a beaut rendition.

You couldn’t really have an album like this without a Bob Wills’s song – a song that fits Sharon to a T, San Antonio Rose.

From what I know and what I have read about Sharon, she has quite a lot of faith, and the next song, Just a Closer Walk With Thee is one for those who follow Gospel. I am getting more into Gospel songs as I get older, as I did when I first heard songs like this in Sunday School when I was little. This is the uptempo version that many country singers of the 60’s sang.

Finally, there is a bonus song. Sharon is also known for singing songs about our ANZACS and therefore, a few war songs. Given the recent passing of Dame Vera Lynn and Remembrance Day just around the corner, it is apt that The White Cliffs of Dover be the bonus track.

This album was recorded with a lot of love and some pretty amazing musicians. Waddo has done a top job again. A gentle and heartfelt collection of family favourites from one of the staples of Australian Country Music, Sharon Heaslip.


Keep on The Sunny Side (Traditional)

Green, Green Grass of Home (C Putman)

Til the Rivers all Run Dry (D Williams/W Holyfield)

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (H Williams)

You’re My Best Friend (W Holyfield)

Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray ( W Stevenson/E Miller)

Lovesick Blues (C. Friend/I Mills)

I love you because ( L. Payne)

When my Blue turns to Gold Again (W Walker/G Sullivan)

He Stopped Loving Her Today ( C Puttman/B Braddock)

San Antonio Rose ( B Wills)

Just a closer walk with Thee (Traditional)

Bonus track: The White Cliffs of Dover (W Kent/N Burton)


Lindsay Waddington – Guitars, Bass, Drums, Percussion, Mandolin, Dobro, Banjo

Hugh Curtis – Fiddle, Strings, Mandolin, Bass

Lawrie Minson – Steel, Harp, Guitar

Glenn Thomas – Piano, Strings, Organ, Trumpet, Trombone, Flugelhorn

Doug Gallacher – Drums Michel Rose – Steel

Gus Fenwick – Bass Russell Stork – Double Bass

Tyson Colman, Breeana Heaslip, Sharon Heaslip – Backing Vocals

Produced by Lindsay Waddington

Totally Biased Fan Review: No Rush Today – Brendan McMahon

DD403 – Brendan McMahon – Jack

Before I start, and as I listen to the album for the first time, I have to comment on a particular track – No Yesterdays – holy stunner, Batman. This song is just amazing. In these difficult times, it could stand up as an anthem. Wow.

Now let me begin. Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place start, so sings a pretty good authority. I haven’t known Brendan’s music for very long, but I have loved everything that I have heard, and I have to say, that this is his best yet. 12 amazing tracks. Some of them you would have already heard if you watch his Facebook LIVE gigs or his single, Jack.

Aside from the totally off the planet, Groove with Bob, which maybe Keith Urban would have attempted, and I am sure that there is a story behind it, all of the songs have layers, are anthemic or are beautiful ballads and stories.

Brendan is a story teller, like most of this genre. A lot of the songs are about fighting battles – large and small – struggle, love, hope, loss and memories, life in general. The tempo does change from song to song, with lots of ripping guitars and catchy rhythms as well as a mini orchestra and some stripped back ballads.

A lot of this album seems to be about reflection. However, there seems to be a nod to the present and the future too.

The pre-orders will include donations to MS, which is very generous of Brendan.

Brendan’s music could fit into a few different genres. Every song has its own direction. On Last Rodeo, Brendan sounds like he is Doc Neeson singing folk music….there are some crosses of cultures. It is a great way to finish an album.

Takin it today pumps up the room for the start. It makes a statement but it also gets you up on the dance floor. It does have the words no yesterday in it which does allude to another track.

Wired to the Moon has a Celtic feel to it, and it is probably one of my favourites on the album. It is one of those songs that basically is telling you to let go….

Larry (Morris Pt 2) – is it a beautiful ballad about beginnings and endings and ifs, buts and maybes. Wonderful song.

Jack is the single which I reviewed in The Single File. It is one of those where only the names have been changed.

No Yesterdays is the song that I mentioned at the top. simply magic. It is already up in my top 10 for the year.

Sugar Cane Man is a catchy song which seems familiar but I have never heard it before. It may be a shower song nomination. It is a beauty.

Calling makes all things smooth again after the funky song in between. It is probably the most gentle and simple song on the album.

It’s Not Me – lyrically a very interesting song….it is catchy and will have your toes tapping but the secret is in the lyrics – clever how one line opposes the other.

Deception is a song which works on a few different levels – it is a song for now in many ways, subtle in expression and in delivery but with a message.

Brave is a bit Sting/Police like and definitely one of the best songs on the album.

I have already mentioned Last Rodeo, which is definitely a great way to round off the album.

This album delivers many sounds and images. It has messages and moods and it is a beautifully polished production. You don’t have to be an alt. country fan to enjoy this. It has something for everybody.

Well done Brendan.


  1. Takin’ it today
  2. wired to the moon
  3. Larry (Morris pt 2)
  4. Jack
  5. No Yesterdays
  6. Sugar Cane Man
  7. Groove With Bob
  8. Calling
  9. It’s Not Me
  10. Deception
  11. Brave
  12. Last Rodeo

all songs written by Brendan McMahon

Recorded at Soggy Dog Recording, Upwey, Victoria

Production and engineering by Steve Vertigan

Mastered by Ross Cockle at Sing Sing, Melbourne

The Musicians:

Peter Maslen Drums and Percussion

Jason Vorherr Bass and backing vocals

Bret Kingman Electric guitars

Dave Leslie Electric guitars

Sam See Electric guitars

Kim Kelaart Hammond organ

Anthony Barnhill Piano

Belinda Parsons, Amber Ferraro, Montana Sharp – backing vocals

Sara Curro Violin

Gabi Halloran Viola

Paul Zabrowarny Cello

Steve Vertigan Keyboards

Brendan McMahon Lead and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin and banjo

Totally Biased Fan Review: Waking up the Ghost Town – Glenn Bidmead

Waking Up The Ghost Town | Glenn Bidmead

This album is so different to the last one. I liked the last album but this one has a totally different mood to it. Everything has gone up a notch or two or three….you know what I mean.

I can’t find any reviews or much information about the album and I only have the Itunes version, so it doesn’t give me much idea about the credits….I had to search a bit for this! Thus I have to rely on my ears.

This album does offer quite a lot of variety, from ballads to more uptempo songs. The subject matter seems to vary a bit more too, with a number of aspects covered.

It has a great start with Nothing Stops this Train. I love a train song, as most of you who read my reviews, know. Given the title of the album, the haunting sounds of the train a coming gives the album a good kickstart.

Live Another Day has a Keith Urban/Morgan Evans feel. It is catchy with loaded guitars and lots of apt na na na nas!

Something Good slows things down a notch. Putting Up Fences is self explanatory, but cool to dance to as well. Country Boy at heart has a nifty beat to it and you can dance to it as well. It has enough yee haa to it to be able to bootscoot to.

Love gone wrong is mellow again and lyrically one of the most interesting on the album. Probably my second favourite.

Way Back When is probably the most “country” especially melody wise. Amongst my favourites. a nice gently rollicking tune.

Highway 9 is a mandatory (!) road song for a country album. It is a bit Eagle-ish. A finger tapping on the car door window song.

A bit Urbanish guitar driven intro to a much milder song is Storms, which is another good old country theme….another box ticked!

I Believe is one of the top 4 songs on the album and I think probably the kind of song that Glenn does best.

Jeremiah’s Ghost Town serves as a great bookend with the first song, not only the haunting feel but the train references too.

Lyrically, this is an album which shows a lot of maturity. It is well balanced between smooth, laid back songs and more up tempo numbers. It is quite a polished album which goes down easy and plays fast. It should get a fair bit of airplay, especially a few of the tracks.

Some nice touches instrumentally to create the mood.


.1. Nothing Stops This Train 04:18
2.Live Another Day 03:40 video
3.Something Good 03:41
4.Putting Up Fences 03:53
5.Country Boy At Heart 03:00lyrics
6.Love Gone Wrong 03:33
7.Way Back When 03:45
8.Highway 9 03:50
9.Storms 04:03
10.I Believe 03:53
11.Jeremiah’s Ghost Town 04:01

© & ℗ 2020 Lemonjuice Music Pty Ltd
Produced by Glenn Bidmead at The Modern Ear, Sydney Australia 2020

Album Cover Photography – Lorraine Baker – An Odd View Creative
Layout & Design – Lorraine Baker & Glenn Bidmead
Album Cover House Photography – Julian Hamburg

Totally Biased Fan Review – Country State of Mind – Josh Turner (Covers Album)

Josh Turner Is In A 'Country State of Mind' on His New Album Sounds Like  Nashville

As most people know, I love singer/songwriters, and my chief focus is on them. However, if a singer has a great voice, enlists some original singers and puts their own twist on things, then I will give it a listen.

Josh Turner normally does his own stuff, so that is the other thing that excuses him! He has a stunning, sexy, deep voice with a slight huskiness. The songs that he has chosen here are perhaps not the ones that most people would cover on these sorts of albums.

With I’m no stranger to the rain (the version that I know best is Keith Whitley’s), it is a great song, but not one done to death. I’ve got it made is written by the phenomenal Max D Barnes who has written some of the best country songs ever, and the wonderful John Anderson sings with him. My hero, Kris Kristofferson features on Why Me, the song that he penned and lived. Country State of Mind, the amazing song by Hank Williams Jnr features Chris Janson, who featured on the Opry the other day and was fabulous.

Vern Gosdin sang I can tell by the way you dance…..a song that we all know but we may not have picked the singer. I had to think on that one.

Alone and Forsaken is a Hank Snr song sung with one of my favourite people, Allison Moorer, and it is an awesome song but again, not one of Hank’s much sung songs.

The next song, brings tears to my eyes. It is written by two of my fave songwriters, Overstreet and Schlitz and was a massive hit for one of my gods, Randy Travis, who features very subtly on here. Great version. Forever and Ever….say the last word, Randy.

Of all the songs on the album, Josh does the next song pretty much the second best, Alan Jackson’s Midnight in Montgomery, which is a tribute, in turn, to Hank Williams.

Waylon Jennings theme to Dukes of Hazzard, Good Old Boys, is a rippa, but I really think that this song just goes down well who ever sings it.

The Jim Lauderdale penned You don’t seem to miss me is one of my favourite songs of all time, sung by one of my Queens, Patty Loveless and the old possum, George Jones. As much as I love Runaway June, this one falls a bit short, purely because I think that it is an untouchable.

Desperately is a song that I think that Don Williams had a hit with. It does have that Don feel. It is not a flogged cover, and Josh and the girls do a good job.

I think Josh did Johnny Cash proud with The Caretaker. To be honest, I have never heard of this one, and I thought that I knew all of his songs! He almost sounds like a cousin of Johnny when he sings this dark song.

All in all, the album is a great effort. Josh has a great voice and the songs, for the most part are pretty amazing. Enjoy

  1. I’m No Stranger to the Rain” (Sonny Curtis, Ron Hellard) – 3:52
  2. I’ve Got It Made” (Max D. Barnes) – 2:56
  3. Why Me” (Kris Kristofferson) – 3:02
    • featuring Kris Kristofferson
  4. Country State of Mind” (Hank Williams Jr.Roger Alan Wade) – 4:03
  5. I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)” (Sandy Pinkard, Bob Strandlund) – 3:26
  6. Alone and Forsaken” (Hank Williams Sr.) – 3:17
  7. Forever and Ever, Amen” (Paul OverstreetDon Schlitz) – 3:49
  8. Midnight in Montgomery” (Alan Jackson, Don Sampson) – 3:47
  9. Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” (Waylon Jennings) – 2:53
  10. You Don’t Seem to Miss Me” (Jim Lauderdale) – 4:06
  11. Desperately” (Bruce Robison, Monte Warden) – 3:56
  12. “The Caretaker” (Johnny Cash) – 2:18


Adapted from AllMusic[4]

Totally Biased Fan Review: A Farmer’s Lullaby – Cathy Dobson EEP

DD385 – Cathy Dobson – A farmer's lullaby Copy

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I have said many times, on here and to the woman’s face and on the radio that I think that Cathy Dobson is the best female country music songwriter in Australia. That is high praise from me, because I know the best, most of them are my friends (I hope that they still are!). This woman can just paint such an accurate picture of the human condition. I am sad that this is only an EEP, it should be an album, because I know how many songs and stories are in her heart and in her mind. She is not one for taking praise well, she really hates it, actually, I think. She is a very humble person.

I have told the stories about how I met Cathy before on here and on other forums. As a would be writer, I know a little bit about words, and to me, they are more important than a voice or a catchy tune. The other things have their importance, but not as important as the words. Cathy can take a simple subject and make it much more interesting. She can take a slither of information and make a story out of it.

I sat next to Cathy at 3MDR and both her and Clint Wilson allowed me to interview my favourite Australian Male Country Music Songwriter, Mike Carr, on the phone on their show. To say that was a surreal moment, was probably the only time in my life that I can genuinely use that word. Clint isn’t too shabby at writing songs either.

We have had some amazing moments from The Dag at Nundle, to just sitting in the same row at a gig or fifty in Melbourne. I was at one of Allan Caswell’s songwriting workshops at The Mantra when Cathy presented The Last of His Kind for one of the first times. It was pretty near perfect already. Lloyd Clarke, Nathan Seeckts, Aaron D’Arcy, Johnny Shilo and others were in the group too.

It is probably one of my favourites on the EEP. Cathy has already released a couple of singles from this, Adeline, a haunting story and A Farmer’s Lullaby. I have reviewed these songs on here in the Single Life.

Learn to Swim is Cathy throwing in one of those songs that she does that creates a change up on her recordings. It has a bit of a Dusty Springfield/Nancy Sinatra feel to it tune wise, but the words are more Beccy Cole at her “fighting kind” best. It has an ironic Shower Song of the year feel to it!

Cathy does what Michael Waugh does, she puts you into the song. You become an observer to the story, a reporter to the event, an innocent bystander, a person of interest, someone in the crowd, a back up in case the whole story blows up in her face. The stories, like Love Ain’t Bulletproof, make you want to be a shoulder to cry on, someone to step in to help out, someone to lean on.

I know a lot of Cathy’s stories are close to the truth, but a lot aren’t anything like the truth, because she often quotes K.B’s philosophy about never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

I know Cathy pretty well, so I can usually tell when she is telling the truth, elucidating, or just writing a good story by now. I also listen to a great song over and over so I get this right.

There is an element of truth in everything Cathy writes, so I know and believe everything she sings to me. Her voice fits her songs. Under the amazing guidance of Damian Cafarella and Lachlan Bryan, how in the Hell can she go wrong.

I am glad that she released this EEP, otherwise, we wouldn’t have a release other than a single or two for another 18 months. I can’t wait that long.

I think that Cathy is like Caswell, she gets better with age.

I personally think that Australia is at its best ever now for Country Music songwriters – all ages, both genders and all 79 or is it 80 types.

Listen to Cathy Dobson, take in her words and her stories and you will see the Queen of the Crop.

Totally Biased Fan Review – Off the Cuff – Born in Nebraska – Rich Davies and The Low Road

Born In Nebraska | Rich Davies & The Low Road

I have been lucky enough to meet Rich and see and hear him play his original tunes and with and without my dear country music brother, Michael Waugh. I couldn’t resist this, then, because I love Rich’s music and his interpretation of other great songwriters’ music but also because he is just such a beaut bloke and I knew that he would put love and passion into this album, because that’s what he does. He is a 100 percenter.

Of course, I am a big Springsteen fan, so that helps too. Springsteen brought out an amazing country album last year, but I have always found some country in what Springsteen does. Having said that, Rich sings and writes a lot of different kinds of music too, so it is not a stretch.

Maybe I am looking at too many parallels, but Bruce’s band is the E Street Band (for those who have been living under a non musical rock), and Rich’s band is the Low Road! Sorry, couldn’t resist.

You can tell by Rich’s subtitle that he is much more articulate than myself, but you get the picture. This album is lovingly produced. Rich has been very careful to present each song without impersonating or attempting to impersonate Bruce and his band, it is simply a tribute to one of the world’s greatest artists and his music.

The soul and spirit of Bruce’s music is there without copying it note for note and vocally.

We all know the songs, particularly if we grew up in the era when Born in The USA and Nebraska were huge. My favourite album of Bruce’s is still The River, but it is hard to go past Born in the USA for popularity and sheer iconism. (Kaz word). My Hometown, I’m On Fire, Dancing in the Dark, Glory Days and my personal favourite interpretation, No Surrender (which was my favourite on the original!) are all wonderful. Born in The U.S.A. is perhaps too Bruce to be anything else, but that is a tough image and sound to get out of your head. Cover Me sounds more like Elvis than Bruce, but it could be argued that there is a lot of Elvis in Bruce….as there is a lot of Dylan in Bruce.

Glory Days is close No Surrender as my favourite, but as I alluded to with No Surrender, Glory Days was also a favourite on Born in The USA. It is a more mellow approach than Springsteen made on his album, but in many ways, I prefer it….as I get older, I prefer slower and smoother.

This must have taken a lot of time and dedication to get this right. It could have gone badly in the wrong hands. I have never seen, heard or read anything that Rich creates which doesn’t have that wonderful touch to it. As I wrote above, he’s a 100 percenter.

He has the voice and the talent for it, and being a songwriter himself, he looks a bit deeper into the meaning of the words and the music than a singer would. These are all brilliant songs, classic songs from a classic album. A wise person once said, what is a singer without a song? While it is true that a great song can sometimes seem good even when left in the hands of an okay singer, it really does take someone who can go a few more layers down into the song to get a result like this.

To be honest, I wouldn’t trust just anybody with this project. It would have to be a pretty special artist (and a brave one) to take on such an amazing piece of music history.

And Rich Davies is pretty special. Do your ears a favour, keep an open mind and give this a listen. Then go and listen to Rich’s original.

Take the low road to the high road.


I’m On Fire

My Hometown

Darlington County

Dancing in the Dark

I’m Goin’ Down

No Surrender

Working On A Highway

Bobby Jean

Downbound Train

Born in The USA

Cover Me

Glory Days

Totally Biased Fan Review – Country Lion – James Ellis and the Jealous Guys

Country Lion | James Ellis and the Jealous Guys

1.Sixteen Hours 03:09 video
2.The Sun Will Rise Again 03:08
3.A Little Soul 03:34
4.I’m A Fool (To Think That You Still Care) 03:33
5.Take Me Back In Time 03:41
6.Forever Close 03:28
7.Records With Our Friends 03:39
8.A Tiny Grain Of Sand 03:23
9.A Thousand Tears 03:16
10.Tom’s Cafe 03:37
11.Wandering Man 04:33


released October 16, 2020

Produced by Micah Hulscher and Alex Munoz
Engineered by Alex Munoz at Soundpark, Northcote, Victoria
Additional engineering by Idge at Soundpark
Mixed by Alex Munoz and Micah Hulscher at Sound Emporium Studios, Nashville, TN
Additional mixing on “Tom’s Café” by Alex O’Gorman
Mastered by John Baldwin in Nashville, TN
Photos by Caitlin Royce
Design by Kelly Day
All songs written by James Ellis

Tim Baker – guitarist

Daniel Brates – Drummer

Joe Cope – Keys

Kelly Day – Bass, backing vocals

Steve Veale – Pedal Steel

I have seen James Ellis and the Jealous Guys a few times in Melbourne with other artists, and I was all good to go to a gig with just them when Covid hit. I mean literally.

It only took me one song to like James Ellis. That was a while ago now. There is something about his music that takes you on a bit of a nostalgia trip, the time machine takes me back to Gram Parsons and Townes Van Zandt and even further back to traditional country music. It is like James and the Jealous Guys are keeping those music threads alive.

Ben Mastwyk is another one who is doing that too.

Listening to the album for the first time, you can close your eyes and take the trip back with me. I see an old Honky Tonk Bar Room, with folks slow dancing to the band…..not a baseball cap in the house, just checked shirts, cowboy hats and jeans and swirling skirts on the girls. There’s beer and whiskey at the bar, peanut shells on the floor. Occasionally, the beat turns and the dancing gets a bit more animated. There’s a punch up in the car park over a girl and the jukebox goes on when the band takes a break. There’s a bit of smoke in the bar and there’s dust flying outside. Later there are songs sung around a campfire and more beer and whiskey……guitars playing and a bit of good old twang.

It is just an image, but good music, like a good book, conjures up images, thoughts, feelings, memories. This album could have been a number one in the early 70’s. With any luck, in 2020, it will be.

A couple of singles have been released already. I love all the tracks. It is an album to mellow out to, but the toes will tap at times and the shoulders will shift as well.

I really like Wandering Man. It is actually a great way to end the album. All of the songs take me back to my folk/country roots and I am glad that I have been taken on that trip. On my second play, I am up line dancing to The Sun Will Rise Again and the air guitar is out. I did the “Emmylou” bit to Sixteen Hours.

I was way off base with why they are called the Jealous Guys…..I thought that there may be a John Lennon/Bryan Ferry inspired moment there, but it is the J.Ellis thing, which is probably much more clever. The Country Lion title comes from a comment from someone in America who said, for whatever reason that James was a country lion. His songs definitely have a lot of country lines…..hmmm. I am delving too much into country music semantics – but not country music romantics, as is with the song a little soul, which has the classic country music lyrics – lonely and blue in it, how can you go wrong?

Take me back in time is probably my favourite for obvious reasons, I think that I have provided the words already.

Forever Close is a little bit Dwightish, and it is one of those that will get you up on the dance floor, even if you can’t dance.

Records with our friends is an obvious one for us music fans to relate to.

A tiny grain of sand gave me thoughts of my favourite Dylan song – Every Grain of Sand for a minute or two, but it has a different meaning as the song goes off on another direction. It does have a Dylanesque quality to it though.

The single, A Thousand Tears reminds me more of Mexico than a honky tonk for some reason. Maybe the gently swaying of the melody?

Tom’s Cafe is a beaut song, apparently based on a true story, as rumour would have it. It does have an Arlo feel. Shows you my age when I refer to these heroes of the late 60’s and early 70’s, but it is there in every song.

James wrote all of these songs, but the references that I have made were all before he was born. Perhaps his parents had my record collection, or perhaps he just heard these guys and decided that he preferred them to the latest trends.

Country will be alive and well while fellas like James are around in this country.

Totally Biased Fan Review – Tanya Tucker – Live from the Troubadour

Tanya Tucker's 'Live From The Troubadour' Album Benefits The Historic –  Tower Records

I have many Country Music heroes….many music heroes, for that matter. One of my favourite albums of recent years was While I’m Livin’ by Tanya Tucker. One of my favourite albums of all time in any genre and definitely one of my most played is Tanya’s Love Songs. My Ma and I would sing (very badly) these songs around the house all the time, with Tanya spinning on the cd player. They say that your heroes are those who are often the opposite of yourself, people who you aspire to be like or just hold up there on some high pedestal. Tanya has been through some of the toughest times that you could possibly go through, but she keeps dusting herself off and gets back up again. A truly gutsy woman who just tells it like it is and stands up to be counted.

She is playing there now with this new LIVE album, from the place where two of my major music heroes – James Taylor and Carole King – performed famously and many others since.

Tan injects her humour, her sass and what we lovingly call piss and vinegar as well as a whole lot of country love into this performance. I have just about all of these songs, but it is almost like being at a Tanya concert listening to this. It is not scripted, it is just Tanya ala natural.

There are some classics here, with Delta Dawn, Would You Lay With Me in a Field of Stone, a surprising Springsteen/Cash medley and Strong Enough to Bend – all delivered with the same power as she always has performed them over the years. An awesome version of High Ridin’ Heroes with Shooter Jennings in the band is a stand out.

Most of the songs are from Tanya’s amazing While I’m Livin’ album, including the fabulous Mustang Ridge and my personal favourite, the tear jerker, Bring my flowers now.

There is no doubting that this girl is country. She always was and she always will be. That husky, heartbreaking voice is still there – if anything, it is stronger. This album is so her – raw, energetic and real. There’s no B.S. It is what it is. The band is pure and twangy and mighty fine.

To be a true country artist, I think, you have to have been through the mill and you have had to live your songs, whether they be written by others or written by themselves. The best country artists are those who have survived all of the crap and bounce back better than ever and power on. Tanya is all that, in spades…..or more likely, truck loads.

The crowd is great. The editing is a little flawed at times, but that’s okay, because it sounds more authentic. I felt like I was there – almost. This will be on heavy rotation. It is a feel good album and one for the ages.

Live from the Troubadour is the third live album by American country music singer Tanya Tucker. It was released on October 16, 2020, by Fantasy Records. The album was recorded on October 16, 2019, during the first night of Tucker’s sold out two night engagement at the Troubadour to promote the release of While I’m Livin’.

Track listing[edit]

1.Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)David Allen Coe3:03
2.“Jamestown Ferry”Mack VickeryBobby Borchers3:04
3.What’s Your Mama’s Name, ChildDallas FrazierEarl Montgomery3:05
4.Blood Red and Goin’ DownCurly Putman3:41
5.Strong Enough to BendBeth Nielsen ChapmanDon Schlitz3:29
6.I’m on Fire / Ring of FireBruce SpringsteenJune Carter CashMerle Kilgore3:50
7.“Mustang Ridge”Brandi CarlileTim HanserothPhil Hanseroth3:49
8.“The Wheels of Laredo”CarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth4:03
9.“I Don’t Owe You Anything”CarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth3:44
10.“High Ridin’ Heroes”David Lynn Jones3:28
11.“Hard Luck”John C. “Pete” BaileyDavid Lee MitchellRaymond L. TurnerJerry Ontiberoz3:37
12.“Interlude” 0:46
13.Bring My Flowers NowTanya TuckerCarlileT. HanserothP. Hanseroth4:14
14.Texas (When I Die)Ed BrucePatsy BruceBobby Borchers5:07
15.It’s a Little Too LatePat TerryRoger Murrah6:20
16.Delta DawnAlex HarveyLarry Collins6:05
Total length:61:25


Adapted from the album liner notes.

PerformanceSpencer Bartoletti – background vocalsJake Clayton – utility (fiddle, dobro, steel, harmony vocals)Andy Gibson – electric guitarJefferson Jarvis – keyboardsShooter Jennings – keyboards on “High Ridin’ Heroes”Mike Malinin – drumsBrian Seligman – acoustic guitarPresley Tucker – background vocalsTanya Tucker – vocalsDina Villanueva – bass guitarProductionPaul Blakemore – masteringSeth Presant – mixingCory Stone – recordingTanya Tucker – producerOther personnelScott Adkins – public relations for Adkins PublicityJames Garner – artist representation/management for Sawyer & Garner ManagementDerrick Kupish – photographyJerilyn Sawyer – artist representation/management for Sawyer & Garner ManagementCarrie Smith – package design

The Single Life – 18 October 2020

45 45s: The 7" singles that changed the world - Long Live Vinyl

Most people who read my posts know that Cathy Dobson is my favourite Australian Country Music female songwriter. She does not accept praise very well, she gets a bit embarrassed, and there are so many wonderful songwriters out there. I have never known a songwriter to be so beautifully poetic and at the same time be so spot on with reality. Poetry and Reality don’t often go together and in many ways that is a good thing, but for her subject matter, Cathy always gets the balance right, as she does in Adeline. Make sure that you have the tissues handy.

I have to admit, I didn’t know much about Dan Higgins’ music til recently. I knew his name, but I didn’t know his music. I am searching for all of it now. His latest, Ain’t Gonna Bottle it Up is a gently rollicking song with a positive vibe that we all know now. It is one to dance in the shower to and to hum a long to.

Ton of Bricks is a totally different song to what we usually get from Cassidy-Rae. It is a very bluesy, power ballad and it is a beauty. Probably her best song yet.

The Archibald Hotel is the new one from Jed Zarb. It is full of yee haa and one to foot stomp and dance to. It is a singalong mountain music song. It is something to look forward to when we can go back to pubs and clubs!

Laura T Davis has released Make It Till Christmas and it is a wonderful song. It is a very apt song for this year, considering all that we have gone through with droughts, floods, bushfires and COVID. This lady has a great voice and it is a very heartfelt song.

There’s a bumper crop of singles still coming through….some wonderful songs from some very talented Aussies. We should be proud.